23/09/2021 - 02/10/2021

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III U-23 Baseball World Cup 2020 - Official Payoff

Venezuela heading to U-23 World Championship game

Venezuela heading to U-23 World Championship game
02/10/2021
The 2018 bronze medalists will now watch the night game to learn which team will compete with them for the U-23 World Title.

Three years ago, Venezuela captured bronze in the U-23 Baseball World Cup. Tomorrow, they will play for gold.

Behind timely hitting and baserunning, world No. 10 Venezuela finished the Super Round with another victory, 5-2 over No. 3 Chinese Taipei, to take a 7-1 overall record and 4-1 Super Round mark into the World Championship Final on Saturday at Estadio Sonora.

Entering Thursday afternoon’s game in a tie for first place with Colombia, Venezuela was thrown for a curve prior to first pitch against Chinese Taipei when scheduled starter Wikelman Ramirez was scratched. Henry Medina, pressed into spot-starting duty, made the most of his assignment after getting some early run support.

Venezuela got started in the second when Romer Cuadrado reached on an error charged to Chinese Taipei third baseman Sheng-Hsien Chen to lead off the frame and Juan Fernandez walked behind him. Two batters later, Jose Sibrian poked an RBI double down the right field line, and three batters after that, Carlos Rodriguez reached on a two-out fielder’s choice to drive in Fernandez.

Medina pitched into the third and departed after 2 2/3 innings, allowing two hits and one unearned run. Wei-Chih Suh reached on an error charged to Venezuela third baseman Justin Lopez leading off the third and scored on Wen-Han Chang’s RBI groundout to third three batters later. Medina struck out a pair without any walks in his spot start.

After Chinese Taipei’s first run, Venezuela responded on the first pitch of the bottom of the third when Robert Perez blasted a leadoff homer to left-center.

Chinese Taipei answered with a run on Su’s two-out single in the fourth, but that was as close as the visitors would get. Venezuela added two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning with Antonio Pinero’s RBI single capping his team’s scoring for the day.

Behind Medina, four Venezuela relievers combined to deal 3 2/3 innings of solid ball, allowing one run on three hits and striking out seven against two walks. Hector Rodriguez struck out all four batters he faced in the sixth and seventh to earn the win while Carlos Valero earned the save by getting the final two outs of the game.

Chinese Taipei finished the World Cup overall at 4-4 including a 1-4 mark against Super Round teams.

"The preparation to this tournament was not easy for us and you could tell it from our hitting," said manager Shih-hsin Wu. "Our hitters struggled early, then they got better, day by day. I think we can be really satisfied with the pitching."

Venezuela now awaits the winner of Friday night’s Colombia-Mexico matchup which will be its opponent in Saturday’s World Championship Final.

"They are both strong teams and worked hard to be in the position they are now. We know they both would be formidable competitors. I think the fans will enjoy a great final," commented Venezuela's manager Carlos Garcia.